In anticipation of the release of the draft master plan back in 2002-2003, WNYMBA voted to hire a trail consultant to review the trails at Hunters Creek Park for sustainability and provide recommendations for improvement. After securing permission from the county, WNYMBA, together with financial support from the Western New York Horse Council hired Richard Edwards of the IMBA Trail Solutions Program to spend a week reviewing the trails and make recommendations both in a presentation to the county and in a written report.
The goal was to get the consultant in the field before the snow came, and we thus scheduled the visit for last November. Despite a dusting of snow the day before he arrived, we succeeded, allowing Rich to view the trails under some wet conditions to see where major problems would be. Rich made a presentation to the county the week he was here, and the written report was finally completed in time for delivery to the county at the final Parks Master Plan public hearing.
Rich’s review was very detailed, having covered all the trails at the park at least once and taking copious notes. The goal for any trail system is to have sustainable, safe, easy to maintain and fun. The key is to have trails that are narrow and non-eroding, which in most cases means dry as well. Perfect examples of this are our trails in Ellicottville.